Blind Roosevelt Graves

Decades: 1990s


9 December 1909, Rose Hill, nr. Meridian, Mississippi, USA, d. 30 December 1962, Gulfport, Mississippi, USA. Active from the early 20s, singer-guitarist Graves became known for his performances of gospel music and the blues. He recorded in 1929, for Paramount Records and for American Records, accompanied by his brother Uaroy Graves (vocals/tambourine). Among musicians and bands with whom he worked are pianist Will Ezell, clarinettist Baby Jay, and the Mississippi Jook Band. The latter, a band that he formed, included his brother Uaroy and pianist Cooney Vaughn. The outfit recorded intermittently into the mid-30s, but after this Graves made no more appearances on record and faded into obscurity.

Graves’ recorded legacy is an interesting reflection on the role played by many itinerant musicians in the deep south in the 20s and early 30s who would move readily between sacred and secular music, playing both forms with sometimes rough-edged...

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